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How do you handle the aftermath of your toddler seeing daddy attack you?!?!?

(19 Posts)
Ryn Tue 30-Jun-09 09:03:04

some of this is on 'relationships' thread! was supervising visit on friday with ExP and DD1 (2 years) and he launched a verbal attack on me and my granny (83). He then waited for us in car park and attacked us.

I am 33 weeks pg with new DP. Me and ex split 20 months ago. He is under court order only allowed supervised.

He tried to drag her off me, threw a heavy object at granny then kicked me in stomach and leg (was holding DD at time).

He was charged with assault etc etc

She has been very withdrawn all weekend and very sensitive. She keeps talking about it too! Am denying all access now and going back to court.

How do i handle her q's? I have been saying yes its naughty to kick etc but she says' daddy hurt my arm' etc.

any help appreciated.... do i change subject or discuss openly? dont want her dwelling on it too much.

lostdad Tue 30-Jun-09 09:41:03

Difficult one and he's obviously an arse.

[i]Try[/i] to keep neutral. Don't avoid talking to her about it - if she wants to talk about it, do so but don't start it as a topic of conversation yourself (which you're not doing from your last sentence).

Do what you can to give her a normal, safe environment so she is forgets it as soon as possible.

(I've got a similar situation - I'm waiting for my ds to ask me why my ex hides from me at handovers and I won't know what to say without a) lying b) making excuses for her).

saintmaybe Tue 30-Jun-09 09:43:33

I thnk you have to discuss it if she's bringing it up or it's more scary for her

Talk about the feelings, ask her how she felt, and how does she feel now? And be honest, if she asks how you felt, you can say 'scared too', but that it's over now and that you are making sure that everyone will be safe now

So sorry you've all had to go through this.

guvk Tue 30-Jun-09 09:46:16

Do let her talk about it as much as possible. I have this complete haze of unspoken memories, where all particular details of many incidents are gone and just a completely pervasive feeling of not-rightness persists. It feels a bit bewildering even now.

giveloveachance Tue 30-Jun-09 10:11:07

Absolutely let her talk to you about it as much as she needs to - she needs to know that what daddy did was 'naughty' and that Daddy was wrong to hurt her. Maybe tell her that Daddy sometimes gets very angry and does naughty things, and give an example of how maybe a friend at playgroup or similiar gets angry. Let her know that Daddy will have to learn not to be angry and 'naughty'. I think she needs to know with absolute certainty that Daddy was wrong to behave like that.

I think she needs to tell you how she felt and feels now.

Also agree with Saintmaybe that its ok for you to tell her you were scared too.

Any vague chance that your ex could / would apologise - even in a letter / phone call to your dd?

Sounds so awful for you all. My heart goes out to you.

I think is important that she knows what he did was wrong, - ie his behaviour but not that he himself is bad - from what I have read, if a child thinks a parent is bad then they think they must be bad too. Its all about separating the way someone behaves from who they actually are.

lostdad - why do you think your ex hides from you?

cestlavielife Tue 30-Jun-09 10:21:13

sorry but i dont think you can be neutral!

be straightforward - daddy behaved badly. daddy should not have hit me.

daddy should not behave like that when angry.

that you will try and make sure she isnt scared by daddy again

tell her it is not ok to hit when you angry, you can do other things like go for a walk.

let her act out the scene with teddies, dolls if she wants, then have the doll who hits take a different approach eg walk away. let her know it Is ok to get angry sometimes but it is NOT EVER ok to hit someone.

you cant excuse his behaviour at all in my view.

my daughter (older) started hitting out and stuff then saying "you made me do it" - because that is what he used to say "but you made me behave like this!".

it is very hard to get across the message - it is ok to get angry sometimes, but you must never hit out. and that you are repsonsible for your actions. talk about what to do if you feel angry - go to your room, walk away, etc.

why is daddy angry? well you can say maybe he is jealous - she can understand that - you ahve new toy (partner/pregnancy) which he does not...but that it is NOT ok to hit when you jealous or angry.

is your ex sick/mental health or just violent/angry?

lostdad Tue 30-Jun-09 10:40:32

giveloveachance - she'd probably say because she's scared of me (and add that she doesn't know why). She gets other people to do the handovers (including her mother who lives a 4 hour drive away).

Apart from some vague DV and child abuse allegations over 2 years ago (she submitted a C1A), they have not been mentioned at court by anyone including her own solicitor - although her latest ones (she's been through a few now) seem keen on referring to them.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Tue 30-Jun-09 11:10:02

OMG - what a vile pig! So sorry for you and your DD. Just love her loads and reassure her that you are there for her. I hope she never has to set eyes on this bastard again.

namechange22 Tue 30-Jun-09 11:13:57

I think you should get advice on this from parentline/HV or the GP.
You may be able to access some play therapy.

Ryn Tue 30-Jun-09 11:56:32

he has been summonsed by the court to have a psychological assessment as something is amiss somewhere!!!!

i dont know

i just dont know how much more i can deal with. its a lifetime of anguish!

GypsyMoth Tue 30-Jun-09 14:27:13

Ryn........I have just received a copy of the forensic pschiatric assesment which my ex had! what a shock I had Reading that. It was horrific. He admitted that during first dv attack on me, whilst pregnant, that he would have killed me if I hadn't distracted him. I can't get over that. There is loads of other horrible things in there too, but I now want DC to have no contact at all. He has to have further assesments too.

giveloveachance Tue 30-Jun-09 16:35:05

Lostdad - maybe you could post a new thread.

Ryn - good that he has been summonsed - it will help you all in the long run, you need professional people at your back for support and this will help.

You can cope, you will be able to deal with this, and in a while you and your dd will have a new sibling to enjoy.

ilovetiffany - what a shock - good luck with the no contact thing.

Ryn Tue 30-Jun-09 19:25:38

ILoveTIFFANY- bloody hell! i have heard off the record that the psychologist had serious concerns prior to this incident. I know he is mentally unstable but getting people to believe you is another thing!!!

I want no contact too, which used to be the last thing I wanted. But when it gets so dangerous I think sod the relationship to the child, they dont deserve to be parents....they arent parents!

GLAChance- thanks for your lovely words of encouragement.

everyone else thank you too!

I have spoken to a counsellor today and she has advised that i do talk about it with DD (just backs up what you all said) and that I am allowed to be sad for myself after what happened!

Feel a lot better now. Have to stay positive and try not to be scared of him, otherwise i guess he has done what he wanted!!!!!

notevenamousie Tue 30-Jun-09 19:28:50

Hi Ryn

I'm so sorry to hear about this (we met on the potty training thread )
I hope you can continue to listen to your daughter and let yourself process the terrible occasion. I know if I even tell my 2yo off she re-plays it with dolls/teddies - keep letting her do that. Don't sweep things away. But you know that.

Look after you and that bump too, ok?

idranktheteaatwork Tue 30-Jun-09 19:33:45

dd's father attacked both my dd and i when she was very little.
The court ordered no contact, not even letter box contact. (where the parent can write to the the child/send cards etc).
The court also made an order for our address to be kept confidential and there was a further injunction preventing the ex from contacting me in any way.

Dd had counselling, i think it was organised through a recommendation from cafcass at the time, we are talking 7 yrs ish ago though.

I was advised to talk about it as much as she wanted to and to reiterate that she was safe, our home was safe and it is not nice to hurt people. That was the jist of it anyway.

Dd is absolutely fine now and only has a very vague memory of a man who dropped her in a lake. (he then walked away. sad)

Apparently children don't really remember much from before 4 yrs old.

Best wishes to you both. smile

littleducks Tue 30-Jun-09 19:34:08

I would call womens aid, they have specialist trained 'counsellors' for children they might be able to give you some idea of the best way to deal with the situation

GypsyMoth Tue 30-Jun-09 21:30:52

Well, this was first time anyone has seen through my ex! The psychiatrist saw what I'd seen for 12 years. All the doctors, cpn's and counsellers pandered to him, but straightaway this psychiatrist got the truth.
No depression
No post traumatic stress disorder
No remorse
No thought for his kids welfare

He couldn't fool the psychiatrist. This could be the way forward for you. Hope so

Ryn Wed 01-Jul-09 08:23:47

Thank god for that psychiatrist smile

The worst part is the non believers!!! My father and I havent spoken for 20 months over this. He believed ex at beginning of the split and ended up siding with him, buying the whole 'i just want to see my child' flannel when what he really meant was 'how dare she defy me and leave'.

When my father told him in 2007 where we would be on xmas day after I begged him not to, that was the last straw. It was only weeks after I was attacked the first time and was scared of what he might do. As if my father was in denial.(we have never been close though)

Same this time. My brother told him that me and DD had been assaulted and he apparently rang ExP to see what had happened then said 'he is frustrated as cant see DD'!!! He sees DD. He was seeing her 3* a week until he pissed off all supervisors. And even then still once a week every week.

That hurts me more that the assault. The doubters! Its so bad then it cant be true brigade, those and the 'take two to tango' lot!!!

Sometimes we are victims, through NO fault of our own. There are animals out there that do NOT need to be provoked into attacking you.

ILoveTiffany- How do you feel now? Was it a relief in a twisted kind of way? Or make it worse?

Idranktheteaatwork- that is reassuring!!!! My exp used to leave DD ontop of hob at 4 months and make me watch- powerless, slap her, throw her around etc etc etc

cestlavielife Wed 01-Jul-09 13:11:35

ilovetiffany - what is the name of this psychiatrist?

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